Hotpoint HFO3T222WG Dishwasher Review

August 31st, 2017 by

For anyone looking for a review of this freestanding HFO3T222WG standard Hotpoint dishwasher, here were my findings. I hope you find this very long and thorough review helpful! :) Feel free to skip as much as you want to get to the parts you need or are interested in!

 Review in Video Format:

Video Review Guide Timeline:
0:00 (0) Intro & Table of Contents
0:09 (1) Ease of Connecting up Machine
0:16 (2) Ease of using the User Manual
0:26 (3) Pre-First-Use Setup (water hardness settings etc)
0:47 (4) Ease of Using the machine
1:47 (5) Notes on Exterior Build Quality
3:03 (6) Notes on Interior Build Design & Quality (includes comments on cutlery basket, basket drawers & more)
5:04 (7) Capacity of Machine (how many dishes does it fit?)
6:08 (8) Eco-friendliness of machine (how eco-friendly is it?) – I forgot to say the non-drying quick & fast 30 minute cycle is also very ecofriendly, not just the long P1 Eco Cycle.
6:42 (9) Sounds and Noisiness (how noisy is it?)
7:52 (10) Rinseaid & Salt amounts it uses up
9:06 (11) Cleaning Cycle Durations (How much time does one cycle take?)
10:02 (12) Cleaning efficiency & Performance (How well does it clean?)
10:37 (13) Drying Efficiency & Performance (How well does it dry?)
12:30 (14) Ease of cleaning the filters (maintaining machine)
12:42 Summary: Pros & Cons
13:41 Overall Rating: 3.5 / 5

 

Review in Written Form:

* Ease of set up
Connecting up the machine was very simple and easy: connecting up the hoses and electrics took literally about 2 minutes.

* Ease of use:
The machine comes with an easy-to-understand user manual, which I would say is important to read before you use your machine for the first time, both because there are some “First Time Use” instructions about how to set up your machine properly, and because some of the settings of the machine aren’t exactly intuitive, so you will need the manual to figure out how to set them. Things like setting the Water Hardness Setting for example will definitely require you to use the manual initially until you’re familiar with how to set them.

I found that once you set up the basic settings using the instruction manual (like the water hardness and rinseaid dosage) you don’t really need to deal with those again because they don’t come into play in everyday use. For everyday use you mostly use the wash program controls which are more intuitive and simple to set. There aren’t too many buttons so it’s not overwhelming or complex, but leans more towards the simply designed side of things.
I’d say that once you become familiar with the main program or programs that you’ll be using on a regular basis, at that point using the machine becomes like second nature.

 

* Build Quality:

- Machine Exterior:
The machine is 85cm tall so make sure your kitchen counter will fit that height before ordering. (You can get other machines that are a little shorter in height if your counter isn’t 85cm tall). You can take the top of the machine off this machine to fit it into a smaller space, but when we did that we found that the build quality feels a little flimsy without the top – I feel like the top holds the sides of the machine all together and without the top it feels a little wobbly and has parts exposed and moving, like polystyrene and stuffing bits – so I’d say my personal opinion is that it’s probably a good idea not to remove the top and only order this machine if you have room to fit the 85cm height.
The machine is 60cm wide and 60cm deep.
The design is simple and sleek. and the finish looks nice, though if you start examining very, very closely, pulling at certain areas (or taking tops off), you might find that some parts of the machine feel a little bit less solid than other machines.
In terms of colour, the white colour is a brilliant bluish white rather than a warm creamy white.
The LED display has a pleasant, futuristic blue colour to it, which I liked.
The door of the machine is easy to open and close and it’s of a comfortable weight – not heavy. The door handle is one that you just pull – there’s nothing to press – no button to release the door – just a simple pull, to open and close to click shut.

- Machine Interior:
Looking inside the machine, the machine has some bright orange decorative parts in it that reminded me a little of a supermarket trolley.
The baskets feel fairly sturdy – they move as you’d expect – they stay on the runners alright.
There is some flexibility in the layout of the dish-places – you can or lower raise dish-holder sections as desired to allow room for more dishes or for more big items like pots and pans.
The spaces for rinse aid and detergent are easy to open and close.
The space for the salt is a little bit tricky to reach because the lower basket is positioned in a way such that it obstructs the area a little – but it is reachable despite being a tiny bit awkward.
The design of the top drawer is generally good but I did have one small issue with its design: the end of the line where you put the cups has a gap there so if you put a cup there it feels a little wobbly – but in action, we were still able to put cups right up to the edge and it was fine despite feeling a little wobbly.

- Cutlery Basket
The design of the cutlery basket is not the best. It feels a little bit flimsy, and it has a strange design where a whole strip where there are holes to put cutlery in, is obstructed by a solid plastic separator, so you can’t put anything in those holes. Also our wider utensils (we have knives that are particularly wide) didn’t fit in most of the holes, fitting only in one row on each side of the symmetrical cutely basket.
It does have an option to open up segments of the cutlery basket to put larger utensils in there without separator-holes. All in all the cutlery basket did the job and we managed to use it alright, but I feel like it could have been designed better.

 

* Capacity:

In terms of how many dishes the machine can fit, the specs say it can fit 14 place settings. Looking more closely at the exact spaces available:
On the bottom you can fit about 26-34 plates for standard use. By “standard use” I mean that you’ll be closing off one section to fit in the cutlery basket. Without the cutlery basket you can fit 40 plates in there. You can fit bowls here too though they need more space so you wouldn’t be able to fit quite as many bowls as you can plates.
Or if you use some of the plate-spaces for bowls, then you can fit about 5 bowls in the 14-plate-space area.
One thing I’d note about the lower basket is that you can’t put large plates side by side in the bottom basket because they will touch, but it works well with one row for large plates and one for small plates.

On the top drawer, you have 17 slots for small plates or saucers, or you can put bowls here. Again, if you want to put bowls here, they would be more spread out that plates, so that the whole top basket can fit roughly 9 normal sized bowls.
The top layer can also fit about 10-12 mugs or glasses

Cutlery basket capacity:
I roughly calculated that it can fit about 42-56 pieces of cutlery

 

* Eco-friendly & energy efficiency:
In terms of how eco-friendly this machine is, it was given an A++ rating
The most eco-friendly programs to run are:
a.) Program 1, which is the Eco Program. The stats on this is that it runs at 50°C, uses 9 litres water per cycle, and 0.93 kilowatt hours per cycle – and this takes 3 hours 10 minutes.
b.) Program 6, which is the “Express 30 minute” program for which the stats are: 50°C, 9 litres water and 0.50-0.55 kWh/cycle (although this cycle doesn’t have a drying phase so everything will come out wet and will require hand-drying).

The less Eco-friendly modes on this machine use, at most, up to 17 litres water per cycle and up to 1.85 kWh/cycle – that’s for the most intensive cycle meant for very heavily soiled dishes and pans. The “Auto Normal” mode uses 14.5-16 litres per cycle and 1.15-1.30 kWh/cycle)

There are also option to make the less eco-friendly normal cycles more eco-friendly, if you apply the Zone Wash 3D function to the Auto-Normal wash, the manual says it can reduce energy consumption by up to 40%

On the most eco-friendly setting the product specs I read say that over the course of 1 year, the machine uses about 265 Kwh, and about 2520 litres of water.

* Sounds & Noisiness of Machine:

In terms of noises that the machine makes, it makes several kinds of sounds:
(i.) The first kind are the beeps the machine makes when you press the buttons: These are quite pleasant to the ear, being quite soft.
(ii.) The second kind are the beeps the machine makes when you set certain settings like the water hardness: some of these are a little loud and piercing – but thankfully you’re only exposed to those during for initial set up, and you don’t hear those on an everyday basis, so I wouldn’t hold these beeps against the machine personally.
(iii.) The third kind of sounds are the sounds of the machine in action: I found the machine to be nice and quiet, making only soft water sounds and a soft whirring. I was pleased with how subtle the sound level is in use. With a single door closed between rooms, you can’t hear it at all from the adjacent room (though if all doors are open you can hear it a little).
(iv.) Lastly, the machine also makes a little “End of cycle chime” sound. This is a pleasant soft little song – though it is loud enough for you to hear it from a room or two away.

 

* How much salt / rinseaid does it use up?

The first time you ever use the machine, you have to fill it up with about 1kg salt, and about 110ml of rinse aid. This sounds like a lot, but it’s only this much the first time. After this the machine uses up salt and rinseaid depending on the customized setting you set, so you don’t need to fill this whole large amount every cycle – you just top it up a little bit after each cycle.

You can control how much salt the machine uses, and in this way you can also control how expensive each cycle is to run.
You need dishwasher salt to prevent limescale buildup on your dishes and inside your machine but different areas of the UK have varying tendencies towards limescale buildup, so it’s handy that you can alter the amount of salt the machine uses by changing the water hardness setting.
If you use the hard water setting, it uses more salt, and if you use the average-to-soft water settings, it uses less salt. We found that on setting 3 and below (which is meant to be for medium to soft water) it appeared to not use any salt at all strangely! Whereas for setting 4 which is meant to be for hard water, it used up quite a lot of salt.

You can control how much rinseaid each cycle uses by setting the level from 1-5 (1 being no rinseaid, and 5 being using a lot). The instruction manual says if you see bluish streaks on your dishes & glasses, reduce the rinseaid amount number, and if you see drops of water or limescale marks on the dishes, then increase the rinseaid number.

* How long does it take to run a cycle?

Regarding the length of time it takes to run a cycle, there are 10 different programs, each with different time frames.
The standard cycles (with a drying phase) have the following time frames:
- The Eco cycle is: 3:10
- Auto Intensive (for heavily soiled dishes and pans, not for delicate items): 2:00-3:10
- Auto Normal takes about 2:30
There is also a “Turbo” function which allows you to speed up the normal cycle, although we found that the Turbo function made the machine’s drying a little less efficient.

There are also some quicker cycles you can run, but these don’t have a drying phase. The quick cycles are
- Auto Fast: 0:40-1:20
- Express 30′: 0:30

The machine has a handy timer display to show you the time-till-the-end-of-cycle which is useful and pretty accurate – though occasionally the machine finishes earlier than expected.

* Efficiency:
- Efficiency of cleaning:
I should note that we only ever have lightly dirty dishes since our pots and pans aren’t dishwasher safe so I couldn’t test this machine on stubborn burnt-on food, but from the normal dirty dishes we had and washed, it cleaned these very well, leaving no marks at all on the dishes and leaving them gleaming clean. The glasses and cutlery in particular came out looking really shiny and almost like new.

In the product specs this machine is rated A for Washing Performance, and our testing found this accurate. We were really happy with how well it cleans.

- Efficiency of drying:
First of all it’s important to note, as I mentioned earlier that not all the cycles have a drying phase. The fast cycles (“Autofast” Program 3, and “Express 30 minute” Program 6) don’t have a drying phase so everything will come out wet and will need manual drying.

For the cycles that do have a drying phase (the slower cycles eg Eco, Auto-Normal etc) the machine dries using the method of Residual Heat, which is different from the method that old machines use. I read an article saying that the new eco-friendly drying technology that new machines use for drying, isn’t as strong or as good as the higher-energy-consumption drying methods used by older machines.
With that in mind, perhaps it’s not surprising that we were disappointed to find that the drying in this machine wasn’t as good as our old 20 year old machine.

This machine was rated an A-rating for drying in the product specs, but compared to my old machine I found this to be a very generous score which I’m not sure I agree with. I found that when I opened the door right after the load finished, when the dishes were still warm, initially there is quite a lot of dampness on the lower edges of the dishes. I’d say the dishes generally get to becoming at best about 95-98% dry rather than 100% dry. so the drying is not perfect, but it’s not too bad either.

I did find some ways to help optimise the drying:
First is to run cycles without using the Turbo mode, because Turbo mode seemed to skimp a little on the drying phase.
And second I found that it’s important to open the door as soon as a cycle finishes to allow the heat to evaporate the water. If I left the machine door closed after a cycle finished (say if the load finished at night), I found that in the morning the dishes and cutlery were all pretty wet. So opening the door whilst the dishes are still hot may help improve drying.

 

* Maintaining the machine:
Cleaning the filters is easy and convenient to do. The filter assembly is easy to open, clean and put back.

 

* Overall: 3.5/5

My overall impression is that this is a good machine. It’s easy to use, cleans really well and dries ok. But my feeling was that perhaps there is a fair chance that may be better machines out there. Having said that, in terms of functionality it does the job, so if you’re looking for a machine at this price point the does a good job and has this machine’s features, this may be the machine for you.

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Disclaimer:
I was recently sent this white standard, free-standing Hotpoint Dishwasher from the company ao.com to honestly and thoroughly test and review for them. Please note that although I was sent the dishwasher for reviewing purposes, this isn’t a sponsored or endorsed blog post, and all opinions in this review are entirely honest and are entirely my own.

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